Lumbini: the most sacred place for Buddhists. If the Nepalis are proud, it is because they are the cradle of one of the most important people in the history of humanity, Siddartha Gautama, or Buddha. Lumbini is the place that gave birth to this prince who one day decided to leave his luxurious life to go out to know the real world. In this post, we will explain what to see and do in Lumbini.
How to get to Lumbini
Lumbini is a small town that is very close to the border with India, really only 26 kilometers away. For this reason, it is usually the first stop point for those who cross the border between India and Nepal by land.
To get to Lumbini from the Nepal-India border, follow these steps:
- Take the local bus to Bhairahawa (4 km). Ask the ticket vendor to stop at”Buddha Chowk”. They pronounce it “Budichow” or something like that. You can also say “Lumbini Gate”. This bus is 15 NPR
- From Buddha Chowk take the next bus to Lumbini. Do not look for signs, look for the cries of “Lumbini! Lumbini!”. The price is 50NPR and the journey is about an hour.
If you come from cities such as Pokhara and Kathmandu by local bus, it will drop you off at the Bus Park in Bhairahawa. It is the main station in Bhairahawa. From there you have to do the same route that we explained in the previous point.
The tour buses (but more expensive) from Pokhara and Kathmandu usually leave you directly in Lumbini.
Accommodation and food options in Lumbini
Lumbini is basically its main street. There all the accommodations are agglomerated. Room prices vary between 400 and 8000 NPR. The cleaning in most of them is similar.
Almost all the restaurants you will find on the main street. There are more “touristy” and expensive, which are those of the own guesthouses, or the typical local restaurants, cheaper but with less variety.
Something practical: There are several ATMs in Lumbini but the only one that does not charge commission (surcharge) is Everest. It is at the beginning of the street.
What to see and do in Lumbini
Lumbini has only one attraction, and it is the Lumbini Development Complex (Lumbini Development Zone). It is a fairly large enclosure.
Complex for the development of Lumbini with the pagoda of peace in the background
Within this enclosure are the most important places:
Maya Devi Temple
Entry price 250 NPR. To get into the temple area you have to take off your shoes. They have small shelves enabled. The temple area also includes a garden, so we recommend that you also take some socks.
Inside this temple is the stone where according to the experts, the Buddha’s mother gave birth. It is protected by a showcase and can be seen through a walkway. Inside you can not take pictures and you have to be absolutely silent, as there are people meditating inside.
Free. It is located outside the complex, just at the other end of the Maya Devi Temple, about 4 km away. A good way to get there is by bike. Walking can be about 45 minutes.
Lumbini Peace Pagoda
Throughout the complex, and on both sides of the longitudinal lake that runs through it, there are a number of temples from different countries: Burma, China, Thailand … If you go with enough time you can go to the Peace Pagoda by seeing the temples of one side, and those on the other side around the corner.
At the end of the complex, in the direction of the Pagoda of Peace, there are restaurants and shops, in case you run out of the water and/or supplies.
Leave Lumbini to other cities.
As a tourist point, it is, in Lumbini, there are numerous agencies where you can buy tickets for the bus, either to Pokhara or to Kathmandu. A Lumbini-Kathmandu trip on the tourist bus is about 900 NPR. The journey is about 7-8 hours.
If not, you have the option to go by local bus for just 600 NPR. Yes, without air conditioning and with about 10 hours ahead, so for 3 euros maybe it’s worth going a little faster and more comfortable. If you still venture to take the local bus, you have to return to Bairahawa, to Bus Park, which is the main bus station and from there change buses.